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Got it memorized?
~ Axel's most common quote
Hey, Roxas. Bet you don't know why the sun sets red. You see, light is made up of lots of colors. And out of all those colors, red is the one that travels the farthest.
~ Axel to Roxas on top of the Twilight Town Clocktower
Roxas... are you really sure that you don't have a heart?
~ Axel talking to Roxas after the opening
Axel is a major character in the Kingdom Hearts series, as well as an anti-hero/anti-villain in the franchise. He is a pyrokinetic Nobody who originally served as the eighth member of Organization XIII. He is initially introduced as somewhat of a laid-back character, though he develops significantly over the course of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Kingdom Hearts II.

He was voiced by Keiji Fujiwara in the Japanese version, and Quinton Flynn in the English version.

Appearance

Axel is tall, thin and light, with a large amount of bright red hair in spikes at the back. He has small, upside down teardrop-shaped purple marks underneath his bright green eyes. He wears the standard black Organization uniform, though his sleeves are narrower and his uniform is pulled in to accommodate his small waist. He is very rarely seen with his hood up.

History

Before Axel

Lea (Birth by Sleep)

Axel's Somebody Lea in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Prior to his attempt to infiltrate Radiant Garden with his best friend Isa, Lea finds Ventus and cheers him up. After stating to a confused Isa his ideals, Lea attempts to sneak into Ansem the Wise's castle before they thrown out by Dilan. Years later, Lea's heart was removed from his body by Terra-Xehanort, creating Axel. Isa also received this fate, creating Saïx. Xehanort then recruited Axel, along with Saïx to be No. 7 and No. 8 in the new Organization XIII.

Befriending Roxas

Right, that first week you could barely form a sentence. But come on, you're still kind of a zombie.
~ Axel reminisces with Roxas.
Chronologically, Axel is not seen again until the beginning of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Axel, along with Xemnas, introduces Sora's Nobody, Roxas, into the Organization as No. 13. Roxas later forms a friendship with Axel, and they repeatedly meet up on top of the Twilight Town Clocktower to share their favorite sea-salt ice cream after finishing the day's work. Axel is also partnered with Roxas on numerous missions. He jokes that the Organization has made Axel Roxas's "babysitter".

In Castle Oblivion

A few times in the game, Axel is sent to Castle Oblivion, looking for the Chamber of Waking, as well as both Replicas created by Vexen, and eliminating traitors to the Organization. While in Castle Oblivion, he meets Sora, who is not entirely sure if Axel is an enemy or a friend.
Axel killing Vexen

Axel killing Vexen

He and Sora indirectly work together to defeat the other members of the Organization in the castle: Marluxia, Larxene, Vexen, Zexion and Lexaeus. Axel uses the Replica of Riku to achieve this, until the Replica is destroyed by the real Riku. Some time after, Axel returned, and the first thing he did was find Roxas so they could have ice cream at their usual spot.
Axel, Roxas, and Xion

Axel with his friends Roxas and Xion

Axel later befriends a perfect replica, modeled with Sora's memories of Kairi, named Xion, after Roxas introduces him to her. However, as both Roxas and Xion realize themselves and their roles, they become more distant from Axel.

Axel vs Xion

You both think you can do whatever you want. Well, I'm sick of it. ... Go on, you just keep running. But I'll always be there to bring you back!
~ Axel before fighting Xion
After Xion deserts the Organization, Axel is ordered to hunt her down, though he doesn't want to harm Xion. However, he becomes irritated when he realizes both Xion and Roxas are cutting him off, and attacks Xion. He is unable to kill her, and only manages to knock her unconscious, and brings her back to the Castle. However, he then collapses from his injuries.

Roxas Leaves the Organization

At the ending stages of the game, both Roxas and Axel lose contact with Xion. Roxas, confused and angry, leaves the Organization as well, greatly saddening Axel. Later, Xion appears in Twilight Town and battles Roxas with new power gained from Sora. After Roxas eventually kills Xion, Axel gradually forgets she ever existed. Axel is last seen in 358/2 Days when he receives a WINNER sea-salt ice cream stick from Roxas.

Meeting Roxas Again

After losing a battle with Riku, Roxas is placed into a computer-simulated version of Twilight Town, created by DiZ, who also temporarily wipes Roxas' memories. Axel is tasked with returning Roxas to the Organization, so he travels into the virtual Twilight Town, and duels with Roxas and reveals key information about his past to jog his memory. Axel loses the duel, and is thrown out of the simulation by DiZ, who convinces Roxas that Axel was a dream.

Then, Axel enters the virtual world again, this time under orders to kill Roxas. He again attempts to restore his memory, but fails. He summons lesser Nobodies to weaken Roxas, then goes in for the kill. He is stopped by DiZ, who helps Roxas escape Axel. At this point, Axel realizes he has no choice but to obliterate Roxas.

You really do remember me this time? I'm SO FLATTERED. But you're too late!!
~ Axel before fighting Roxas
He attempts to attack Roxas a third time, this time accompanied by higher-ranking Nobodies.
Axel battling Roxas

Axel battling Roxas

However, Roxas defeats these Nobodies, and attacks Axel with dual Keyblades, named Oathkeeper and Oblivion. Axel is surprised by their power, and loses the battle. Axel falls back, and chooses not to carry out his mission.

Baiting Sora

After Sora awakens from his year-long sleep and rejoins with Roxas, Axel kidnaps Kairi from Destiny Islands, to try and draw Sora out so Roxas could be resurrected.
Axel kidnapping Kairi

Axel kidnapping Kairi

However, Kairi proves more troublesome than Axel expected, and escapes to Twilight Town, where she hides from Axel. However, Axel finds her and hands her over to Saïx. Xemnas suspects Axel's motives, and thinks Axel will soon defect from the Organization.

Defection

In Hollow Bastion, Axel meets Sora again, revealing small bits of information about the Organization. Sora realizes that Axel is the one who kidnapped Kairi. However, when Axel confirms this, Saïx appears, prompting Axel to escape through a dark portal. It is that this point that the Organization confirms that Axel has defected.

When Sora attempts to travel to the Organization's headquarters, but is trapped by an army of Nobodies in Betwixt and Between. However, Axel arrives, and aids Sora in battling the Nobodies. Just when they are about to be overwhelmed, Axel uses an attack that uses up all his energy and his life force, utterly draining him. He does this to allow Sora to continue, as Sora is Roxas's whole form.
Axel's sacrifice

Axel's sacrifice

After saying a last few words, he opens a portal to the World that Never Was, and finally dies.
I wanted to see Roxas. He... was the only one I liked. He made me feel... like I had a heart. It's kind of... funny. You make me feel... the same. Kairi's in the castle dungeon. Now go!
~ Axel's last words

Reincarnation

Axel? Please. The name's Lea. Got it memorized?
~ Lea, Axel's revived human self, to the True Organization XIII
Lea (Dream Drop Distance)

Axel reincarnated as his Somebody; Lea in Kingdom Heart 3D Dream Drop Distance

Axel is reincarnated in his original form of Lea in the beginning of Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, and he looks exactly like his Nobody self, the only difference being Lea lacks the purple marks underneath his eyes. When he was reincarnated, Lea noticed that Dilan, Xaldin's Somebody, Even, Vexen's Somebody, Ienzo, Zexion's Somebody, and Aeleus, Lexaeus' Somebody, were also reincarnated. However, Braig, Xigbar's Somebody, and Isa were nowhere to be found. Lea searched the entire castle for Braig and Isa, but neither of them could be found. Ienzo suggested that if the two are not in the castle, then they could be at a place known as Traverse Town.

Sometime afterwards, Lea went to the Mysterious Tower to become a Keyblade Master. He used a Corridor of Darkness to get there. But about halfway there, Lea spotted Maleficent and Pete holding Queen Minnie hostage. Lea rescued Minnie by throwing one of his chakrams at the two. After Maleficent and Pete retreated, Lea exited the Corridor, wanting to help Sora and his friends, as well as wanting to see Yen Sid so he could be a Keyblade master. While Sora and Riku were in the Dream Worlds, Lea was training with Yen Sid and the three Good Fairies.

Later on, Sora was captured by the True Organization XIII after being trapped in a deep sleep by Young Xehanort. Riku and Mickey tried to rescue him, but were restrained by Ansem, Seeker of Darkness and Xemnas. Luckily, Lea, along with Donald and Goofy showed up to rescue their friends. During the rescue, one of the Organization members, wielding a familiar claymore, attacked Lea. His attacker's hood fell off, revealing that Saïx/Isa had sided with the Organization, much to Lea's dismay. Xehanort and his cohorts took their leave, allowing Lea and the others to escape.

When all of them returned to the Mysterious Tower, Riku decided that he should be the one to travel into Sora's heart to awaken him. Lea replied that he would help Riku should he fall into the darkness. After Riku was successful, Lea and the others were celebrating Riku for saving Sora. Shortly after Riku was appointed Keyblade Master, Lea claims that he'll catch up to Riku soon while revealing to them his intent to use a Keyblade. Trying to manifest it once more, Lea gets astonished when his Keyblade appears, which shocked everyone else as well.

It was later mentioned by Yen Sid that Lea is training to wield a Keyblade under Merlin and later in the ending of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep 0.2 -A Fragmentary Passage-, it is revealed that Kairi will be joining him in the training as well for the coming war.

Personality

Inheriting his persona from his original self, Axel is childish, competitive, somewhat smug, and sarcastic. He wishes for everyone he meets to always remember him, so he can live on forever through people's memories, saying "Got it memorized?" on multiple occasions. Though he is initially introduced as a laid-back character, he significantly develops, being willing to work together effectively with Sora, Riku and Mickey, and to take one for the team. He puts his personal agenda first, and everything else second.

Powers and Abilities

Pyrokinesis: Axel is highly skilled at creating and manipulating fire. He can create balls of flame in various sizes, envelop his enemies and himself in flame for offensive, defensive and passive purposes, and concentrate the power and direction of his flame. His power with fire is very strong, even to the point of being able to kill another Organization member with a single attack. He also appears to be immune to most fire and heat.

Chakrams: Axel wields unique weapons named Chakrams. These appear to be large metal circles, with numerous spikes attached. They can be used in melee combat or at range, returning to their user like boomerangs. Axel can envelop these in fire for extra damage.

Intelligence: Axel is quite intelligent and knowledgeable, as well as a skilled strategist. He is also perceptive, allowing him to quickly understand his friends and enemies.

Assassin Skills: Axel is light and very fast, allowing him to be acrobatic and sneaky in his attacks. He also shows little mercy to his enemies.

Quotes

Part 1

Good, you're a quick learner. So Sora, now that we're getting to know each other better...don't you go off and die on me now!
~ Axel before battling Sora.
And you passed. Congratulations, Sora! You're ready now—ready to take on Castle Oblivion. You will need to follow your memories. Trust what you remember and seek what you forget. Then you will find someone very special.
~ Axel talking to Sora and company.
You will just have to give some more thought to who it is that's—most important to you. Our most precious memories lie so deep within our hearts that they're out of reach. But I'm sure that you can find yours, Sora.
~ Axel talking to Sora and company.
You have lost sight of the light within the darkness. And it seems that you've forgotten that you forgot.
~ Axel talking to Sora and company.
Good answer. Just what I'd expect from the Keyblade master. But be forewarned... When your sleeping memories awaken, you may no longer be who you are now.
~ Axel before disappearing.
There was a time he became a Heartless. And if one becomes a Heartless—
~ Axel talking to Larxene.

Part 2

Right. But not Sora. He held on to his feelings, even as a Heartless. And there's only one other man who's been able to do just that.
~ Axel talking about Sora.
How can we help you, Vexen? It's not very often we see you topside.
~ Axel talking to Vexen.
Does it hurt, Naminé? Watching your two childhood friends fight all because of you? You have my sympathies. From the heart. But don't waste your time. We Nobodies can never hope to be Somebodies.
~ Axel talking to Naminé.
You give a challenge like that to Vexen and he'll seriously want to eliminate Sora.
~ Axel talking to Marluxia.
No taking that back later.
~ Axel after Marluxia orders him.
We are just Nobodies who have no one to be, yet we still "are." But now you can be nothing instead of just being a Nobody. You're off the hook.
~ Axel before he sets Vexen on fire.

Part 3

You're all that he's got left. So then, if you don't stop this, no one will.
~ Axel telling Naminé to end her manipulation after Sora yelled at Donald and Goofy.
Say, Naminé. Have you noticed? Marluxia doesn't seem to be around.
~ Axel to Naminé.
Just that there's no one here who would want to get in your way.
~ Axel telling Naminé to go to Sora.
Just make it count.
~ Axel.
Now THIS should be interesting. Try and make it enjoyable, Sora. It's the least you can do for me, you know. Wait a sec, I'm enjoying this, you guys are something else.
~ Axel realizing his likes what is going on.
Ohh, right, your big plan. You use Naminé to rewrite Sora's memory piece by little piece. And he turns into her total puppet. Then, using Naminé and Sora together, you and Larxene overthrow the Organization. Am I right? I would say that YOU are the traitor, Marluxia.
~ Axel talking to Marluxia.

Part 4

Remember the order: "You must eliminate the traitor". I always follow orders, Marluxia. Larxene paid the price for disloyalty when she disappeared...You must do the same!
~ Axel talking to Marluxia about his betrayal to the Organization.
Hmph. Now, Sora. We've got more in common than you might think. I'd really rather not fight you... But I can't dishonor the Organization, now, can I?
~ Axel before battling Sora again.
Sorry... I would hate to kill the suspense.
~ Axel after disappearing.
Vexen, Larxene, Lexaeus... I wonder who will be next in line.
~ Axel talking to Zexion about the loss of members.
Me? No way. I already took my pounding from Sora. He thinks I'm done for good. Nope, I think it'll be Marluxia next. For defying the Organization and targeting Sora. I hope he moves exactly as his heart commands him to. So, what about you? I thought you guys had plans for Riku.
~ Axel asking Zexion about his plans.
All you need is the kind of power that the real Riku doesn't have. If you can get that, you can be a new person---not Riku, nor anybody else. You won't just be a copy of someone. You will be unique, your OWN self.
~ Axel goading Riku Replica to attack Zexion.

Part 5

So sorry, Zexion. You just found out way too much.
~ Axel after Zexion's demise.

Trivia

  • Axel is notable for being the only Organization member who debuted in Chain of Memories to keep his Japanese voice actor from the GBA version. The rest of the Chain of Memories Organization members gained new Japanese voice actors in Re:Chain of Memories.
  • Axel bears a strong resemblance to Reno from Final Fantasy VII, right down to sharing the same voice actors. In fact, Tetsuya Nomura deliberately designed Axel in Reno's image to place a familiar Final Fantasy character in a new environment and role.
  • Axel is considered by many fans to be a fan favorite member of the original Organization XIII.
  • Axel is the only Organization XIII member to appear as part of the villains in both Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II. The other five members that were killed off in Chain of Memories would only return in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix as optional bosses.
  • Axel is the first character in the Kingdom Hearts series to curse, saying, "It's about time you gave me one hell of a show!" in Chain of Memories. Ironically, the remake removed this instance, replacing it with him saying, "Try to make it more enjoyable for me, Sora."

Videos

Kingdom Hearts 358 2 Days Cutscene 18 - Xion and Axel Face Off

Kingdom Hearts 358 2 Days Cutscene 18 - Xion and Axel Face Off

*Spoilers* Xion and Axel Fight

Navigation

           Kingdom Hearts Villains

Thirteen Hearts of Darkness
Ansem | Marluxia | Master Xehanort | Saïx | Terra-Xehanort | Xemnas | Xigbar | Vanitas | Young Xehanort

Organization XIII
Axel | Demyx | Larxene | Lexaeus | Luxord | Roxas | Vexen | Xaldin | Xion | Zexion

Disney Villains
Beast | Bo'sun | Captain Hook | Cecil Clayton | Cerberus | Chernabog | Cheshire Cat | Crew of the Black Pearl | CLU 2 | Diablo | Fates | Flotsam & Jetsam | Gantu | Glut | Hades | Hector Barbossa | Hayabusa | Hydra | Iago | Jafar | Judge Claude Frollo | Lady Tremaine | Lock, Shock & Barrel | Mr. Smee | Maleficent | Maleficent's Goons | MCP | Monstro | Neverland Pirates | Oogie Boogie | Pain & Panic | Pete | Queen of Hearts | Rinzler | Sabor | Sark | Scar | Shan Yu | Shenzi, Banzai & Ed | Titans (Lythos & Hydros) | Ursula

Others
Braig | Repliku | Riku | Sephiroth | Sora's Heartless | Dream Eaters | Heartless | Nobodies | Unversed